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Wey-Han Tan – WE/ME in epedagogy design http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com ceci ne sont pas des pipes Wed, 03 Feb 2010 06:55:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.15 How to get a diploma. http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2010/02/how-to-get-a-diploma/ http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2010/02/how-to-get-a-diploma/#respond Wed, 03 Feb 2010 06:55:49 +0000 http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/?p=263 If you’ve finished your studies, submitted your thesis, wrote the exam and delivered a defense – do not expect to get a diploma, as you may be used to at your home university. After enquiring, I’ve been just informed by Mr. Pekka Uusivuori that you have to fill out a specific diploma request form and send it to a specific person in charge:

Please be in contact with Ms. Pulmu Föhr-Siltavuori at the study
affairs office. e-mail: pfohr@taik.fi
Please also fill out the attached diploma request form and send it to
her. University of Art and Design, Hämeentie 135 A, 00560 Helsinki or
through scanner and e-mail.

I’ve attached the document for your convenience. Best of luck!

Diploma Request Form

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Enrolement and re-enrolement http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2009/12/enrolement-and-re-enrolement/ http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2009/12/enrolement-and-re-enrolement/#comments Fri, 04 Dec 2009 08:12:11 +0000 http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/?p=239 As I lost my study rights due to – as far as I can deduce – either a late or lost reenrolement payment in 2008, or a forgotten reenrolement information, I have to reclaim my study rights.

Here are some valuable Informations for students of ePedagogy Design. Especially for those students abroad, like in Germany, who are used to a better organised reenrolement procedure, with reminders, fixed fees (!), receipts and counter-receipts, the UIAH-way is a little puzzling.


This is the info I just received from the friendly Naoko Nakagawa:

Enrolment for the academic year (= informing TALSS office whether you will be “attending” or “not attending”) should be done every autumn by mid-September.

If you are going to be “attending”, you have to pay the student union fee by mid-September.
The exact price varies every year, but it is about 50 eur/term and about 100 eur/academic year.

If you are going to be “not attending”, you do not have to pay. But you still have to inform us about “being not attending”.
In this case, no ECTS points will be registered during this unpaid period.
You can not have any student benefits during this unpaid period, either.

If you do not inform us TALSS office by mid-September, you will lose your study right.
Our academic year is from 1 August to 31 July, autumn term 1 August – 31 Dec.
and spring term 1 Jan. -31 July. You have to inform us about the whole academic year, both
for the autumn term and the spring term, every autumn.

Around end-May every year we (TALSS office) send this enrolment information to all our degree Programmes
so that the staff (usually amanuensis) in each Programme can forward the information to our students.


As for checking the arrival of your money, sending the copy of your bank receipt to TALSS office is the only way.

It is a pity that the communication between ePedagogy students and the staff is not working well.
I will try to talk about this problem to the staff. But you know, I am just an office staff….

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Summer term 2009: “Games, Play and Education” (2nd Edition) http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2009/02/summer-term-2009-games-play-and-education-2nd-edition/ http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2009/02/summer-term-2009-games-play-and-education-2nd-edition/#respond Mon, 16 Feb 2009 13:18:15 +0000 http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/?p=225 For summer term 2009 I’ll offer a seminar targeting ePedagogy-students who already have attended seminars dealing with learning theories, pedagogical media theory, and game based learning (see this post for a short list of authors and topics).

Seminar (presence) will be held on Thursdays from 10:00-12:00 (german time), starting with April 9th to July 16th 2009

From the description:

A player is usually intrinsically motivated and angst-free to experience and practice new knowledge in a problem-oriented and highly contextualised manner, bound to fail and retry in a controlled artificial environment – and even has fun doing so.
If the factual, practical, or reflective game-knowledge could be transfered to the player’s everyday life, we’d have an ideal educational setting (or a bloody massacre) at hand.
The stunning visuals of contemporary computergames lead to a common fallacy in the understanding of play: We don’t play games because they resemble reality. We play them because they don’t.

This seminar deals with ludic simulations, known as games, from a practical, theoretical and reflective point of view. One goal is to shed light on inherent antagonistic sides of games and media in general: Rule-bound compliance and stability, as well as an appropriatable and configurable space of possibilities. Further questions concern the use of games and play for (educational) representation of complex systems or ethical behaviour.

Conceptually this seminar takes place in its second term and is related to Pedagogical Media Theory, a major of the international MA study ePedagogyDesign. Students who have visited the previous seminar “Games, Play and Education” (summer term 2008) or “Pedagogical Media Theory exemplified by Game Based Learning” (winter term 2008/09) and already know how to apply the key texts on cognition, media, games and play – i.e. learning theories, medium and form, theories of games and play – may use this lecture as project seminar and are invited to draft, design, realise and reflect on a game usable for educational purposes.

I’m still not quite sure how to manage this option parallel to the quite time consuming offline-seminar here in Hamburg; probably with an assessive colloqium as a start, loose support during the term, and an online work-in-progress presentation in the last third of the course.

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Reviewing the seminar “Pedagogical Media Theory and Game Based Learning” http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2009/02/reviewing-the-seminar-pedagogical-media-theory-and-game-based-learning/ http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2009/02/reviewing-the-seminar-pedagogical-media-theory-and-game-based-learning/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2009 13:14:45 +0000 http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/?p=223 Concept and structure

This term – winter 2008 – my seminar focussed on basics of media theory and their application to the understanding, use and creation of games in an educational frame. While my last seminar dealt mainly with learning theories and motivation, the view turned to media in general, in culture, communication and creation.
Taking a closer look at ‘New Media’ – networked digital media – isn’t simply learning about new channels for educative content. It may be a change from a receptive, interpretative, centralised form of communication to a configurative, collaborative, decentralised one. Both its’ (at this time) predominant traits, digitality supporting its role as recursive media-simulating metamedium, and networking supporting its role as global social medium, may influence the way we perceive information, knowledge and learning.
This seminar had a focus on ludic simulations, known as games and toys. These share some traits with digital media, but also may shed light on two inherent antagonistic sides: Rule-bound compliance and stability, as well as an appropriatable and configurable space of possibilities.

The seminar was divided into three parts:
First, theories of media and cognition by Marshal McLuhan, Scott McCloud, Niklas Luhmann, Gregory Bateson, Heinz von Foerster and Bertold Brecht, spiced up by examples and questions. What defines a medium? What medium is suited for which kind of content? How does a medium influence one’s cognition and culture?
Second, theories of game, play and gamedesign by Gregory Bateson, Brian Sutton-Smith, Roger Caillois, Johan Huizinga, Gonzalo Frasca, Chris Crawford and Kurt Squire, with samples abound. Questions here are: What defines a rule based game, what free playing? What can be ‘learned’ by playing, seen from a media theoretical point of view? How can games support educational intentions?
Third, project work including the conceptualisation, realisation and reflection of an edcuational game.


Participation was moderate, compared to 2008 summerterm’s “Games, Play and Education”, with about 22 students from Hamburg and one student from Helsinki (via Skype).
Since I received strong positive feedback on the project-oriented structure of the seminar, but this time also had to cover a wide range of media theory, I stocked up the amount of texts to read, often dividing the students into two groups to read – and present – two different texts each session. In hindsight this didn’t work out as planned, since many texts – like Luhmann, McLuhan or Bateson – were both important for the conceptual understanding of media, but also quite hard to grasp. Discussion among students were also hindered. Future seminars will be held with one (or less) text per session, but accompanied by a small list of questions to direct the students’ attention to core concepts. Smaller or easier texts can still be read in multiple groups, as long as the subject is closely related to provide for a lively controverse discussion.

What I deemed quite successful for the topic of media theory was the example of diverse non-mainstream-media to represent strengths and weaknesses of media, like micro-content-videos (commoncraft-show), comics (McCloud), common seminar situations, and (digital) game examples. Translating educational content into an unfamiliar form provided by game requirements also proved inspirational for the students, who came up with six quite diverse projects, ranging from dedicated analog card-games to shooter-modifications to design-concepts.
Remarkable: Last term there were only digital game projects (one excellent one lost due to HD-crash!)of mostly analytical or conceptual nature; this time there was a dominance of analog game projects, which, due to their nature as handicraft-projects, got finished, and were testplayed by the seminar. I hope I can put them up in our Wiki.

There was also the experiment to use a shared wiki, with Ralf and Christina working on related or quite disparate topics. Creating (an, any) order to prevent the wiki slipping into chaos is quite the challenge, especially if the scrutiny of order and categorisation themselves is one of the main topics of the seminars. We’ll see how this’ll turn out over the next terms.

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How to pay the enrolment fee from abroad in 2009? http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2008/10/how-to-pay-the-enrolment-fee-from-abroad-in-2009/ http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2008/10/how-to-pay-the-enrolment-fee-from-abroad-in-2009/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2008 11:24:30 +0000 http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/?p=199 My bank just told me that the old data for filling out an international money order for paying the student fees isn’t a valid one. So, if you’re still using

Recipient: Sampo Bank
IBAN: FI 838 000 127 066 774 5

your money won’t reach a valid account because of an invalid SWIFT-Code and recipient.

Naoko Nakagawa, the current International Student Counsellor at the UIAH, (email naoko dot nakagawa at taik dot fi), mailed me the correct data for making your money order work:

“When you pay the student union fee by bank transfer from a bank account outside of Finland, please remember that your bank will charge handling fee. The handling fee depends on the bank, and it can be very
expensive in some countries. So please make sure that you pay enough when you pay by bank transfer. Please also note that TOKYO’s bank also takes about 10 Euro as handling fee when receiving the student union fee if the money is sent from countries where euro is not used. So please make sure
that you pay enough when you pay by bank transfer. Please keep your receipt.

Fee: 48 € (as for spring term 2009) + your bank’s handling fee
Message-field on the money order form: Student’s first name and family name + date ofbirth
Recipient: Taideteollisen korkeakoulun ylioppilaskunta
Bank account: 800012-70667745 Sampo Bank
IBAN-number: FI 838 000 127 066 774 5 (the first two are alphabetical letters ‘fi’)
Bic/Swift code: DABAFIHH

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Reviewing the seminar “Games, Play and Education” http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2008/08/reviewing-the-seminar-games-play-and-education/ http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2008/08/reviewing-the-seminar-games-play-and-education/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2008 10:56:44 +0000 http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2008/08/26/reviewing-the-seminar-games-play-and-education/ This is a short review on the seminar “Games, Play and Education” I held as a combined event for both online students in ePedagogy Design and offline students of educational science from Hamburg University during summer term 2008 in Hamburg.
From the official seminar description:
“Educational games are advertised as a cure for most ills of our stratified information society with its ‘demand’ for life-long and self-reliant learners. A player is usually intrinsically motivated and angst-free to experience and practice new knowledge in a problem-oriented and highly contextualised manner, in a controlled artificial environment – and even has fun doing it. If the factual, practical, or reflective game-knowledge could be transfered to the player’s everyday life, we’d have an ideal educational setting (or a bloody massacre) at hand. The stunning visuals of contemporary computergames lead to a common fallacy in the understanding of play: We don’t play games because they resemble reality. We play them because they don’t. Games are powerful as learning environments on different levels, but they are also full of paradoxons.”

The goal was to give a theoretical and practical insight into games and play both in general, and more specific as means for learning within and about rule systems. Games and toys as interactive and changeable microcosms of rules, of perpetuation, variation and transgression, may deliver interesting insights into basically similar systems which are harder to access, change, or understand – like education or media.

The seminar started with about 50 students (mostly teachers-to-be) crammed into an ICT-seminar room laid out for about 20 people; and it was meant to work with an additional five online students from Finland and Spain. As communication platform I planned to use Skype-Video and/or Adobe Connect, as presentation and collaboration plattform there was a smartboard and ten Macintosh-computers in the room, with access to the faculty’s online communciation system ‘EduCommSy’ with a dedicated project room for announcements, links, reading materials, tasks, discussions, attached Wiki etc.

The second session showed that I was too optimistic in trying to attend to the needs and questions of a mixed presence and online audience that big and diverse, while at the same time handle, maintain and troubleshoot the technic, and also verbally and medially deliver coherent content and suggestions. The Skype-connections and Adobe Connect tended to break down or froze, the webcam had to be directed to the speaker in the seminar. During the third session, my Apple MacBook Pro with iSight Webcam I was using as communication-interface suffered a fatal hardware crash, taking texts and drafts with it. Bad Karma.
From that point, I decided to split the seminar into an asynchronous online and offline seminar; not in the spirit of the game, but at least technically reliable, and, though requiring a higher workload, better to manage for me.

The interests and preconceptions shown by the students in games in general were – to speak mildly – very diverse, from students who hadn’t played at all (not even board- or cardgames) to professional working with commercial games. The approach of integrating all these different takes later on showed to be a mistake, it heightened the burden for me to dig for relevant questions, tasks and source texts, and irritated many students, who were longing for a clear, strong lead and a coherent linear path through the seminar.
Interestingly many students in the beginning complained about the high amount of theoretical texts I uploaded to the Community System (though they liked the ease of access to the texts), while the remaining students later on, in the feedback session, expressed the wish for more theoretical texts and sessions.
This was probably due to the functional split of the seminar, which combined a theoretical foundation in the first eight session with a practical project group approach in the remaining six sessions. After the first theoretical half of the seminar, the number of students was down to about 18, but kept stable and highly motivated till the end of the seminar.
This is – and will be – a problem for me: How to downsize a seminar to a workable groupsize without explicit exclusions? How to integrate the students’ diverse interests in a topic without losing coherence and thus foster disorientation?

On the other hand I was surprised how inventive and motivated some groups tackled their projects, and how much dedication flowed into games and programs. Although some groups restrained themselves to the ‘safer’ approach of analysing existing games or genres, there were also some highly ambitious goals I hope will stand out as ‘work in progress’ in the end, due to the sheer amount of technical, creative and theoretical expertise it will probably cost to finalise them ‘for real’.

There is a Wiki as virtual collaborative workspace/showroom attached to the seminar’s online EduCommSy-project room, where you can browse notes on the seminar and the groups’ projects. The projects will (hopefully) be finalised in September:

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Seminar: Games, Play and Education http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2008/03/seminar-games-play-and-education/ http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2008/03/seminar-games-play-and-education/#respond Sat, 29 Mar 2008 20:38:47 +0000 http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2008/03/29/seminar-games-play-and-education/ Like Ralf and Christina, I’m offering a seminar for the ePedagogy Design programme, open also for students of the Hamburg University’s Faculty of Education (33 participants as yet).
It will focus on game based learning, striving for an overview on learning theories, theories on game and play, and selected medium specific theories and practices dealing with (digital) game design. The goal would be to reach a deeper insight in the workings of educational games, on what different cognitive levels a (computer)game could be used as a learning environment, to get an overview on some popular genres of Game Based Learning and generally to take a personal and reflected stance on this topic.
Project work will aim for a documented and reflected draft, design or analysis of a gaming environment usable or used for education. Documentation and results will be made available in the projectroom’s public wiki.

The seminar will take place with synchronous sessions at tuesdays, from 12:00 to 14:00 german time (13:00 to 15:00 Finland time), where you should be available to participate via internet connection, and asynchronous, self-organised project work in groups of two to four students.
For questions or requests for participation as student or guest, please mail to wey-han.tan [at] uni-hamburg.de.

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Connectivism and paradigmatic shifts http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2007/06/connectivism-and-paradigmatic-shifts/ http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2007/06/connectivism-and-paradigmatic-shifts/#respond Tue, 12 Jun 2007 11:57:42 +0000 http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2007/06/12/connectivism-and-paradigmatic-shifts/ I think there is indeed a ‘demand’ for a new learning paradigma, as it was with behaviourism, cognitivism or constructivism. Technical progress and emergence of medial formats call for some generic term to cognitively and linguistically bundle and handle this plethora of phenomena (add a grain of sarcasm plus a dip of melancholy here, especially concerning the notion of a ‘paradigmatic shift’).
There’s a definitve lack of fitting expressions of what is going on, having led to an explosion of “e”s, “2.0”s, of a turn to hawaian and kisuaheli in webspeak.

Unfortunately, from my point of view – as a sympathiser of radical constructivism – there’s no ‘neutral’ scientific theory of learning, since every learning theory, every teaching methodology has and will always be tainted by the socio-political and the technical reality of its time, as well as by the imagined utopia of its developers and practitioniers.

For this, I was very interested in George Siemens’ presentation of his proposed ‘learning theory for the digital age’, as much for it’s theoretical foundation as for its epistemological tilt.
By reading his text “Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age” (2004), three key topics arose which I had hoped would lead to a lively and critical discussion:
A perceived objectivistic turn, the allocated role of technology, and the supposed new way organisations learn.

Unfortunately, only the first one got some attention, since the time for discussion – 11 minutes (!) to discuss a ‘paradigmatic shift’ – was much too short.

So, my first question about the objectivistic turn was as follows:

“(…) chaos states that the meaning exists – the learner’s challenge is to recognize the patterns which appear to be hidden.” (Siemens 2004)
Connectivism seems to be a rather profound return to an objectivistic concept of knowledge, meaning knowledge can be discovered, instead of being constructed, in the informational noise of networks.
Is this epistemological turn one out of necessesity, to ease the plight and responsibility of the learner/searcher in a chaotic flood of information – one of constructicism’s grave weaknesses? Or does connectivism restricts the discovery to certain areas, where a well-defined outcome at the end can be expected, or is wished for (i.e. formal education, commercial transactions, hard sciences etc.)?
What is the role of digital mechanisms – like search algorithms, knowledge agents, or datamining processes – in discovering ‘the’ meaning, compared to the role of humans? How does a connectivistic paradigma thus change our view on truth, identity and the real?

Owen Kelly greatly helped in asking further questions also concerning the connectivistic handling of culturally independent, objective truths, as did Arie Noordzij, who mentioned Paul Feyerabend’s theories on scientific methodology and progress.
Some outcomes crossed my mind before the discusssion, and I was hoping for a clarification by Siemens:

1.) It’s Siemens’ personal, and therefore intangible position on objective truth, which he had worked into his theories, maybe to counter some deficits in former theories. For example constructivism can’t deliver the learner from irritation and aporia, a serious drawback in the face of an exponential growing dataverse. Although a turn to objectivism is thus understandable, this is from my point of view quite disputable, maybe even risky, at least in the humanities.
After Siemens remarks on discussing objective and subjective truths, this seems to me to be the most likely explanation, because “This discussion leads us away from the path of happiness.” (Siemens).
At some point of the discussion, it reminded me on a very influential political speech from 2002 – though not by Siemens – where there was stated: “Moral truth is the same in every culture, in every time, and in every place.”

2.) It’s a result of a rationalistic and teleological view on the subject of a digitally networked society, a turning to the heyday of cybernetics and information theory, when it was proposed that not only communications, but also ethics could – and should – be expressed in mathematical formulas, to find the one common ground of action every rational human would share. This would seem to be on the one hand a bit old-fashioned, but on the other hand quite viable for a “learning theory for the digital age” when viewed from the actual biologistic turn learning theories are taking (see Christoph Bardtke’s lecture on Manfred Spitzer’s neurochemical/neurophysiological approach).
Personally, I’m a huge fan of the concept of a technological singularity, as Vernor Vinge described it, though it seems to conflict with some of the base tenets of radical constrcutivism.
I ruled this out, since Siemens stressed the importance of human diversity too much for this option, though I can’t be entirely sure.

3.) It’s a near-religious belief of ‘the truth’ being buried in the white noise of networking, to be found by digital means. This is an interesting idea I think William Gibson first turned up with in his Neuromancer Trilogy, where there are several people (for example Gentry) who try to find a godlike Gestalt in the background noise of the cyberspace; a kind of modernized version of the cabbalistic art of Gematria.
This would have been an idea very exciting to discuss in it’s shrewdness, but was certainly out of question.

I’d liked to have the remaining two topics seen discussed, but the time was just too short:

About the role of new technology:

“Behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism are the three broad learning theories most often utilized in the creation of instructional environments. These theories, however, were developed in a time when learning was not impacted through technology.” (Siemens 2004)
Does the relationship between digital processes and human cognition differ from what has been proposed by the ‘cybernetic turn’ in the 70ies? Back then, individual, social, and technical ‘cognitive’ processes were seen as compatible, interconnectible and utopically symbiotic, too.
Is the main difference to cybernetics/cognitivism the letting be of individual human cognition to be fuzzy – and then to harvest this fuzzyness statistically by digital means to find meaning?

About the idea of learning organisations:

“These theories (note: behaviourism, cognitivism, constructivism) do not address learning that occurs outside of people (i.e. learning that is stored and manipulated by technology). They also fail to describe how learning happens within organizations.” (Siemens 2004)
How do digitally organized groups and communities ‘learn’? Is the process the same – but faster – as the one called tradition and transmission, meaning evolutive mutation and selection of social knowledge over time?
Is the digitally organized form of social knowledge the key difference to a constructivist viewpoint that learning is embedded in and situative to a culture (for example Brown et al. (1989), „Situated Cognition and the Culture of Learning“), which stores it ‘knowledge’ in form of narratives, habitus, architecture etc.?

I hope these questions will pop up sometimes in our future discussions or lectures.

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Oral examinations based on eConferencing http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2007/03/oral-examinations-based-on-econferencing/ http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2007/03/oral-examinations-based-on-econferencing/#respond Mon, 05 Mar 2007 09:48:27 +0000 http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2007/03/05/oral-examinations-based-on-econferencing/ In this german diploma thesis “Potentiale von WebVideokonferenzsystemen bei Prüfungen” by C. Püschel (University of Konstanz, 1999) the author examines the possibilites and dangers of oral tele-examinations.
Maybe this is useful for some german-speaking students or tutors.


Distance Learning and the studies at virtual universities enjoy rising popularity and spreading due to better technical possibilities. Yet not only the process of learning but also examining could take place at two different localities in the future. The basic question this thesis is going to deal with is whether oral exams can be carried out as web videoconferences. The aspects to be dealt with are whether oral exams can pose an acceptable and equivalent alternative to face-to-face exams from a psychological, formal-legal and technical point of view.
In the psychological part the differences between conventional exams and tele exams are described as well as the effects with regard to perception. Simultaneously, recommendations for the behaviour during such exams and for the composition of the videoconference equipment are given.
In the chapter about the formal-legal perspective further demands to tele exams are formulated. They comprise the agreement of examiner and examinee about the test form, the perfect functioning of the equipment and connection of the conference, the prohibition of making direct expenses for the exam and the fulfilment of organizational demands.
In the technical part the hard- and software components of video conference systems, the importance and function of elementary standards, effects brought about by technical devices, problems and possible solutions are expounded.
A prospect to possible enlargements of videoconferencing systems in future exams, like the introduction of identification systems, increased possibilities of input by touch tablets and devices to record such conferences will follow the basic chapters.
In the evaluation at the end of the thesis it will be made clear that tele exams can be recommended at all costs for psychological reasons, with reservations for formal-legal reasons and under no circumstances for technical reasons at this very moment.

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Mastering your Master… http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2006/10/mastering-your-master/ http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2006/10/mastering-your-master/#respond Sun, 15 Oct 2006 10:49:19 +0000 http://eped.loveitorchangeit.com/2006/10/15/mastering-your-master/ We (Wey and Yana) have now created a Wiki Page with information concerning the MA-thesis. It includes formalities, links to resources and some insight into our experiences and approaches in dealing with these issues.

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